NFL Free Agency: Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, or Torrey Smith?

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Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, and Torrey Smith are all vying for attention behind Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb for free agency money. Cobb promises to be the belle of the ball, but these three other wide receivers offer a lot of value as well. The Jacksonville Jaguars could well be in the market for a veteran wide receiver and if they miss out on Cobb (which would be a shame), they would likely be able to land one of these three other quality wideouts.

The Jags (and other teams) could really use a veteran wide receiver to show the ropes to their younger, less experienced players. With Cecil Shorts III set to hit free agency and the future rather in doubt about him, the Jags could find an improvement with these top-flight players.

This isn’t to say the Jags aren’t happy with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Marqise Lee right now and want to build off them, but bringing in a proven target would do wonders for Blake Bortles and his development. Tight end Julius Thomas is in play, but getting an outside threat could be more pressing.

Without further ado, analysis:

Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) is introduced before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

"Crabtree denied playing through a foot injury last season, but the game film suggests otherwise. Any team signing him will have to hope he can recover the impressive pre-Achilles tear form that helped propel the 49ers into Super Bowl XLVII. – Chris Wesseling and Gregg Rosenthal"

Crabtree has just one 1,000 yard season to his name which is a tad concerning. More concerning was just playing in five games in 2013. Fortunately, he bounced back to play in all 16 games in 2014. He caught 68 balls for 698 yards and four touchdowns last year. That’s decent productivity that can hopefully be built upon in his second season after his Achilles injury.

Of the three, I think Crabtree is the weakest overall player. He has the talent to be something special but hasn’t managed to put it all together with the 49ers and I don’t expect him to. He could use a change of scenery to re-tap that potential. Crabtree could be a strong veteran presence for the Jaguars, but it is hopeful to think of signing him on as the dependable receiver for the Jags.

Next: Let's Get More Dependable